Larkspur Queen by Megan Leonard

coming april 2023

Larkspur Queen

by Megan Leonard

Publication Date: 3 April 2023
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

The poems in Larkspur Queen lead the reader through a strange, enchanted world where queens transform into castles and spiders and princesses eat their foes for dinner. Inspired by the contrapuntal rhythms of the Lais of Marie de France, these modern-day las embrace extravagance, overstatement, and largess, all while making space for the uncanny and the unknown.

Maximalist and lyrical, these poems explore chronic illness, mental illness, and disability; the voices in these poems upend traditional views of motherhood, womanhood, and selfhood. In a reclaiming and refashioning of the heroic, the voices and characters in this collection of poems reinvent what it means to tell their own stories on their own terms: unflinchingly, and taking up space.

About the Author

MEGAN LEONARD is the author of Larkspur Queen (Nightingale & Sparrow Press, 2023), book of lullabies (Milk & Cake Press, 2020).

Instagram | TwitterTikTok | Facebook

Valley Girls cover

Valley Girls Become Valley Women by E. Oliver

Valley Girls cover

Valley Girls Become Valley Women

by E. Oliver

Publication Date: 20 February December 2023
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

In an exploration of queer womanhood, Valley Girls Become Valley Women traces its narrator’s struggle to define herself in a space populated by female lovers, relatives, and friends. The enclosed poems weave together childhood traumas, teenage sexual awakenings, and adult anxieties, documenting both a burgeoning queer identity and growing familial expectations. At its core, the collection pulls on ties between women, unraveling the complexities of femininity in the process. The narrator finds herself continually defined by her mother, sister, grandmothers, aunts, and lovers, even as she fails to see remnants of herself within them. Although encapsulating a—rather than the—experience of queer American womanhood, Valley Girls Become Valley Women reflects a ubiquitous longing to understand and be understood without relinquishing one’s sense of self.

The collection travels chronologically from childhood to young adulthood, following its narrator from grade-school field trips to sex-talks over cocktails. Its 62 pages are undeniably a series of love letters to Southern California (if scorched a bit around the edges). The narrator’s life plays out over pitchers of lemonade, in lawns of plastic flamingos, and under brilliant Los Angeles sunsets. In the valley, she hears the stories of her mother and grandmothers and sketches a new one of her own.

About the Author

E. Oliver

E. Oliver (she/her) is a poet and short fiction author based in California. She received her BA in history from CSU Northridge and her MA in history from UC Riverside, where she focused on queerness, gender, and sexuality in Early California. Examples of her work can be found in FUNGI Magazine, Columbia Journal, Stonecoast Review, and Capsule Stories. Her latest poetry chapbook, Homing Pigeon, was released by Louisiana Literature Press in 2022.

Twitter | Website

Life Is But a Moment in Time cover

Life Is But A Moment In Time by Essie Dee


Life Is But A Moment In Time

by Essie Dee

Publication Date: 30 August 2022
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Fiction


We are all here for just a moment, and it’s up to us to make it the best moment possible. To challenge ourselves, to learn and teach, find meaning in the day, and think about our purpose. Perhaps ponder questions such as: Is there a difference between love and friendship? In choosing to do right over wrong, who decides what is considered ‘right?’ Are we really judged for the choices we make?

Lucy and Ed continually find one another when each is experiencing a life crisis. Over the years, a friendship forms form these chance encounters, and brings with it questions. As there is a level of secrecy to their relationship, could they be doing something wrong? Are they allowed to feel anything but friendship towards one another? When it is finally decided that they are in charge of what happens next, it is too late to change the course of their path.

Read an author statement by Essie Dee.

Essie Dee

About the Author

Essie Dee is a Canadian author whose writing has appeared in The Cabinet of Heed, Nightingale & Sparrow, Cauldron Anthology, Clover & White, Reflex Fiction, Ellipses Zine, and Crepe & Penn. She has always loved writing, and began a more serious effort in 2017 while deciding how to rejoin the workforce after a family leave. Essie uses poetry and prose to explore relationships, what ifs, and social issues. When not writing, Essie enjoys running, reading, various forms of dance, and spending time in nature.

River Ghosts by Merril D. Smith

River Ghosts River Ghosts
by Merril D. Smith

Publication Date: 12 April 2021
Nightingale & Sparrow Press

Genre: Poetry

River Ghosts is about love, loss, the natural world, and the passage of time. It explores family and memory, the ghosts that dance through our minds, and the ghosts that whisper from cobblestones, rivers, and houses. It is a book birthed in the grief for a parent and the world during COVID-19. Nevertheless, it also celebrates joy and laughter, and recognizes that though nature’s beauty is transitory, it recurs again and again. Spring follows winter, and new flowers
bloom. We see the light of long-dead stars, even as new stars are born.

This book was compiled after the author’s mother died of COVID-19 in April 2020, although some of the poems were written before pandemic and lockdown. The compilation is a tribute to life and love, and an exploration of mourning and remembrance.

Print | Kindle | PDF

About the Author

Merril D. Smith

Merril D. Smith lives near the Delaware River in southern New Jersey with her husband and cat. She has a doctorate in American history from Temple University in Philadelphia. Her nonfiction books focus on history, gender, and sexuality. She turned to poetry as a creative outlet several years ago, and her poetry has been published in a variety of literary magazines. River Ghosts is her first full-length poetry book.

Website | Twitter | Instagram